Holiday travel turning you into the Grinch? The holidays make up some of the busiest travel times of the year in the United States. It’s no fun for anyone, with the rising costs of airfare, long drives, facing crowds and dealing with the general stress of getting from point A to point B.
Holiday travel doesn’t have to get you down. With organization, fun distractions and an open mind, you’ll survive and enjoy the trip home for the holidays:
It sounds obvious, but it’s best to start early. If you book your tickets right before holiday travel, you have less flexibility and more stress. Shop around for travel options, including by train or airplane.
Keep shopping, even if you snatch up a potentially great opportunity. Often, you may cancel a refundable ticket within a week or so before the trip. Make sure the tickets are refundable and do your research.
Binge Watch a Show
This is your permission slip to waste your time on television, as long as you’re enjoying yourself. Traveling by train or airplane is a great opportunity to binge watch several seasons of a show you’ve been dying to see. It also makes good company as background noise when the people around you are annoying. What interesting relations or differences do you see between your own life and the main character?
Listen to Music
Your mind will be running through a thousand tasks and worries. Distract your brain with the benefits of music to calm and inspire yourself. A moderate noise level, such as ambient music, gets your creativity flowing. Moderate noise makes it a little more challenging for the brain to process data, leading to the abstract processing that boosts your creativity.
The type of music you listen to reflects your personality and your mood. Jazz listeners are outgoing, creative, confident and calm. Classical listeners are confident, introverted and calm. Blues and reggae also have calming effects on the brain.
Practicing meditation or breathing exercises will help reduce your heart rate and relieve stress. It may be beneficial to try these techniques, but it’s also a good idea to simply remind yourself to breathe.
When stressed, your body responds. You hold tension in your muscles and organs. Sit up and let your shoulders sulk. Tell yourself to breathe. Inhale deeply and exhale for three long seconds on each breath.
Do what feels comfortable. Don’t sit with tension and let it take over your body. Get the necessary oxygen to your brain and heart, and remind yourself to breathe!
Write it out. Write all of your stress down. Inscribe poems, grocery lists or your five year plan.
Choose a journal that you will want to write in. You don’t have to write in it everyday, or even write about your life. Fill the journal with all things purple, or gather quotes from other people. Find a theme, and start a planning journal or inspiration journal.
Pick up a throw away notebook from the dollar store, and make it your goal to fill it by the time you get home. Fill it with anything. See what happens, whether it’s genius or ridiculous.
Adult coloring books have taken over the world, but they do work to relieve stress and promote creativity. Color anything: your favorite TV show characters, herbal plants or cats doing weird things.
Skip the technology for once, and let your hands and mind roam over the page. Let your mind move through the curves of the lines like you’re walking a labyrinth.
Bring a sketchbook to create your own drawings. Release your thoughts and cares onto the blank page. Let free-coloring and free-sketching take you beyond the confines of stress and lines.
Holiday travel doesn’t have to be super stressful. Fill your time with what you’d do at home to relax or what you never get the opportunity to do at home. Release your inner creative and engage your mind. Remember to breathe, and enjoy the journey to a wonderful holiday at home.